FAQ Philadelphia, PA - Montgomery County


Q. How does water get into my basement?

As a result of your basement being recessed 6 to 9 feet in the ground along with being constructed with seams and joints ( Example: Footing, Walls, and Floor being separate entities, unlike a one piece pour such as a swimming pool ) when the ground is thoroughly saturated or water tables rise to floor level or above, water will weep or drain in through your seems joints and cracks.

Q. Can I solve my leakage problems with only merchandised waterproofing sealants that I can buy and apply myself?

No. Waterproofing sealants are only a contributor to keeping your basement dry. We propose the use of sealants such as Thoro-Seal or UGL DryLock as extra options after our drainage system has been installed. In many cases we use these sealants for aesthetic purposes as well as drainage purposes when the customer is looking to dress up their unfinished basement. The sealant alone does not have enough capability to keep water out of your basement. If the product proposes the application of the sealant on the floor or walls will keep the water out, it will only trap the water. If the water is trapped it will create condensation and damp spots on your wall which can lead to back side of your dry wall damage or create mold. For the floor application the water condensation and damp spots can occur as well as the possibility of the water matriculating towards the center of your basement only to enter through cracks, seams, or the posts in your basement.

Q. Can the installation of a Sump Pump singularly solve my wet basement problem? How about multiple Sump Pumps?

No. Sump Pumps are an essential part of interior basement waterproofing but will not solely solve your wet basement problem. With only the installation of a Sump Pump and Sump Pump Pit the only water that will be pumped out of your basement will be the water that directly enters the pit. If water enters your basement a few feet away from the corner where the pump is installed that water will sit there and not reach the Sump Pump. Multiple Sump Pumps have the same problem, even if you had one in every corner, the water that enters your basement away from the corners will remain in your basement. The installation of pipes in the French Drain System along with the Sump Pumps is the proper way and the most secure way to keep water out of your basement.

Q. Can failing gutter systems and ineffective grading cause my basement to leak?

Yes. Failing gutter systems and inadequate grade can contribute your basement to leak water. However, upgrading of gutter system and proper grading can lessen the frequency of the activity, but when the ground is thoroughly saturated and water tables arise, your basement will leak again without a proper drainage system.

Q. What types of basement walls are most susceptible to water leakage?

Porous stone walls are venerable based upon the stacked rock and mortar composition. Cement and cinder block walls are hollow and cavernous. Both of these walls can equally let water in your basement through their respective veins of entry.

Q. Is there a difference between a French Drain and a Pressure Relief System?

The term French Drain is simply just “Old School“ terminology for the same process that is installed today. Many companies will boast names such as “Pressure Relief System”, “Deep Channel System”, along with terms such as “Hydrostatic Pressure” in an attempt to re-invent the wheel. If you have 3 different companies seemingly propose the same process but each company uses a different name, it is simply each company’s attempt for individuality. In many cases the use of names such as “Pressure Relief System” or “Deep Channel System” is just an attempt to make their product appear to be new or cutting edge. In summation, if a waterproofing company is cutting the floor next to the walls, laying pipe and installing sump pumps, you a receiving a French Drain System, they are all one in the same.

Q. What is the difference between using Perforated PVC Pipe compared to ABS Black flexible coil piping?

The ABS Black flexible coil piping has numerous minimal slits around the piping. If the piping system were to clog long term, this type of pipe would be more susceptible to failing due to the small slits. In comparison to the Perforated PVC Piping, with interlocking rigid 10 foot sections, the quarter inch perforations installed at the 5 & 7 O’ Clock positions allowing the water to enter more freely into the piping system with less potential for long term clogging.

Q. What size sump pump is needed? Do I need a bigger sump pump if I get more water?

The size of pumps we use for all of our jobs is a standard 1/3 horsepower pump. In our Sump Pump Section we have the various models of pumps we use on our jobs. If the need for more security or extra pumping power arises we propose to either add an entire second Sump Pump Pit in another corner of the basement or we will install two sump pumps in the same pit.

Q. If I have a drainage system installed in my basement and I get water in the middle of my floor is it covered under the guaranteed? What exactly is guaranteed with this process?

We go into detail on this question in our Guarantee section but will explain the basics here. In the basic Standard Industry Guarantee ( our Partial Drainage System Guarantee ) water that enters your basement in the “middle of your floor” ( around posts, cracks or seams ) is NOT covered. The guarantee covers the Sub-Soil wall, The Cove ( Trenched area ) and 3 feet out from the wall. In order to obtain FULL basement coverage we propose our Full Floor Guarantee which entails a few extra installations such as Cross Channeling to ensure the water that cannot enter around the posts, cracks and seams.

Q. If I have no history of water in my basement should I still have a drainage system installed if I’m finishing my basement?

Just because you have not received water in your basement does not mean that you will never receive any water. This seems like the typical response from a waterproofing company but read our reasoning’s first. In some cases if there have been previous owners of your home there is a possibility that your basement has had water and that information was not properly passed on to you, especially if there have been multiple previous owners. The next reasoning is the most important; finishing your basement is a major expense and can add much value to your home, which is an investment you should protect. If you do not have your basement waterproofed prior to finishing your basement, you are susceptible to having your newly installed flooring, walls, and furniture damaged if water enters your basement. During 2010’s hurricane remnant that dropped 6-10 inch rain fall we entered many customers’ homes that never had a water problem in their basement, in return not having a drainage system, who had to rip up their carpeting and dry wall because of the damage they incurred. They now had to back track and have a drainage system installed, leaving them out of money to have their basement refinished. If you are serious about finishing your basement and making a secure living space, a drainage system will be a great investment on your time and money.

Q. Which back up alternative pump is more effective and reliable, Battery or Siphon?

We installed the Siphon Water Powered Back-up Sump Pumps. The Batter Powered option is not only expensive but unreliable. As any battery powered equipment, the product is only as useful as long as the battery has power. The battery has the capability of 6-8 hours, if fully charged and maintained. We find that in many cases the battery in these back-ups only last 1-2 hours and does not pump the water as efficiently as the main electrically powered main sump pump. The Siphon Water Powered Back-up Sump Pump is a less expensive option and works off your “in house” existing water main pressure. As long as water is conveyed into the pit from our piping system the Siphon Jet will give you efficient pumping as long as necessary, until your electricity is restored. In our experienced professional opinion it is the clear cut best option and also less expensive to the customer. It has 24/7 back up capability with no limitation.

Q. Does the drainage system you install have the capability to last a lifetime as the guarantee states?

A drainage system, if installed properly and professionally, has the ability to last indefinitely, hence the Lifetime & Transferable Guarantees offered by the entire industry. One can assume that if a lifetime guarantee is offered, two factors can be concluded; the process works and it lasts.

Q. Why is there such a variation on the pricing of these projects from company to company?

Two thirds of the waterproofing industry’s sales practices are commissioned salesmen, encouraged to start with high prices, and drop accordingly, in an effort to attain the sale. The other third are typically made up of sole proprietors, such as ex-installers and the like, which run their company’s based on soft sell tactics with no commission, thus creating fair pricing. This is why you can have the same job have 2 bids ranging from $10,000 to $ 5,000 for the same work to be conducted.

Q. What should I be looking for in efforts to choose the right waterproofing company?

Longevity of the company, proven clean track record of better business, a fair price, and a Full Basement Guarantee.